Coronavirus (CoV) needs no introduction. It refers to a family of viruses that lead to conditions ranging from a mild common cold to severe diseases. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new type of infection that was discovered first in 2019 in China.
Since then, the illness has spread to almost all countries across the world, affecting 110,000 people, as per the World Health Organization.
While COVID-19 has reached almost all areas of life, its presence is being increasingly noticed across the sports world.
Impact on sports
Many sports events have been canceled, and some are being held in empty stadiums. While hockey players are finding it difficult to obtain sticks as they are either manufactured in Mexico or China, the International Ice Hockey Federation canceled the women’s world championships. Johns Hopkins is hosting the basketball tournament (NCAA Division III) in an empty arena, even as the United States continues its efforts to control the disease spread.
On the recommendation of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the NHL closed its locker rooms to the media, while NBA, MLS, and MLB are expected to do the same. The NBA also warned their teams that playing games in closed arenas without fans was a possibility.
NJ sports teams reaction
The Rangers and Devils closed locker rooms at Madison Square Garden to the media in the first week of March, although there was no official directive from the league for New Jersey.
The first official Covid-19 cases were reported in New Jersey in recent days. But there were no plans from the Devils to alter the existing schedule, travel arrangements, or policies for the remainder of the season in the initial days of March. The NHLPA and the NHL handed the Devils precautions they must take in order to remain safe.
However, by March 13, the growing concern over coronavirus led to the suspension of the MHB, NBA, and NHL seasons. Also, the gambling industry’s favorite NCAA Tournament was canceled. Apart from this, the 2020 Masters golf tournament has been postponed.
Sports books closure
The cumulative effect has been significant on the sports betting industry in New Jersey, and the sports books have shut down indefinitely as on March 16. This comes in the wake of new restrictions from the state and federal levels on public gatherings. However, online wagers are still being accepted.
Sports fans wagered close to $540 million in January during the build-up to Super Bowl LIV. The additional revenue stream from gambling was a much-needed one for the horse racing industry in New Jersey. Additionally, the coronavirus outbreak has caused an indefinite hold on NJ’s sports activities.
According to a Florida-based attorney, the ripple effect of coronavirus on sports betting is bound to be profound – still, a mere segment of the broader impact being felt across every aspect of American life. The gambling industry has thus taken a definite hit, which will reflect in the short as well as long run.